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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Light-hearted Happy Tale - Little Happy Meets the Professor

The Three Brothers on Happy's 14th Birthday, 8th September, 2009. Click on the photo, if desired, to see a larger image.


Little Red (Happy) Meets the Professor (written by my husband, Ian).

Note: This is probably one of the last notes about Happy, as I should get back to low-carbing. It is healing for me to write about him (although I'm not much of a writer, I'll admit) and to honor his memory.

This event with the professor happened many years ago - before I became a low-carber. I was overweight, sick with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (I am in remission now) and depressed over what my birth mother was doing to me and my family (it was beyond emotionally painful, believe me!). Just before Happy joined us, Ian vowed he would find a new addition to our family - a dog (a Shiba Inu - Japanese dog) - to pull our family together during a very stressful time in our lives. While taking a shower, he determined that little dog would be called Happy Eloff, because he wanted at least one happy Eloff in the household. (smile) Happy took his job seriously, and we all stayed together, despite my mother's intentions to break us up as a family. We became a very close knit family. The boys are still with us in our new tropical abode, working on their entrepreneurial pursuits. We home schooled the boys from an early age and never regretted it. It was wonderful and they were brilliant students - even later at university, they were top students. Happy was their little study buddy, keeping them company on their beds or in their bedrooms during the day, and even at night, they would take turns with him. He provided many laughs and we all showered our attention and love on him. He was such an easy little dog. He only asked for two walks a day - i.e. he did not do any of his business until then. He was amazing that way. He rarely barked. Sometimes if he spotted people below from his perch on our high deck (a Swiss Chalet-style wooden home in the forest overlooking the Okanagan Lake in British Columbia), he would bark, but not for long. He did not drive the neighbors crazy. He was well-behaved.

Happy had a personality that was very interesting in so many ways. He gave the most wonderful, excited "welcome homes" to other "members of the pack", putting his little ears back, eyes closing to slanted slits, grinning, sometimes whimpering (if we'd been gone very long) and covering us with kisses. He was, however, not beyond being a bit cheeky and wanting his own way, or wanting all the attention for himself. He could be quite jealous of anyone else in the family getting attention (like a hug or kiss) in front of him. He would usually come sit between the two people on someone's foot! Happy loved to eat and was always on the scrounge around meal times. He became quite chubby later on, but I still thought he was beautiful. In fact, the boys sometimes gave me a hard time, wanting me to cut back on his food, so that he could lose weight - but I was such a soft touch around Happy, that that resolve would not last long. Happy defied the odds and lived a wonderful, long life anyway! Thank you, Lord!

Happy had an encounter with a big Malamute dog when he was just a puppy and we were living in a rural area on the outskirts of Calgary, Alberta. We were walking in the field behind our house, and I met our neighbor who was walking his dog. Barry assured me that Rocky would not harm Happy. Happy jumped up in puppy-style to kiss Rocky's nose. Well, Rocky just went for Happy and was trying to kill him, like a dog would kill a gopher and shake it to break its neck. My son and I were screaming and crying. I pulled Rocky's tail until I almost heard something give. Barry, to his credit, got his hands in there around the dog's mouth and by some miracle managed to pry Happy loose. Poor Barry himself was bleeding as he placed Happy in my arms, and I ran off crying, not sure whether the little bundle of fluff in my arms was going to make it or not. He was bleeding from several wounds. My husband promptly took him to the vet and since they had to put him under anesthesia to stitch him up, the vet suggested that he be neutered at the same time. The vet argued that he would live longer and make a better pet. I'm not sure if my husband made the right decision, however, Happy did make a wonderful pet and he did live very long. Since that day forward, Happy did not like other dogs, except female dogs. He did not mind other dogs at the kennels apparently, but he always had an opinion of himself as a "big" dog, and would think of attacking first and asking questions later. LOL We had to protect him from other dogs for his own good. He was too small to harm any other dogs, but they could possibly have hurt or killed him. Other than that, only we knew what a sweet dog he was, and how timid he really was, despite pretending to be fierce. Happy also had no sense of roads and cars, so we had to be ever-vigilant. He simply accepted that we would protect him. One day Rocky got loose and came a calling at our house. Happy was on a long run and Rocky was just about to lunge at Happy, when my youngest son (only 8 years old) grabbed the bear spray and sprayed the dog full in the face. Rocky took off with a yellow face, yelping, and Happy was spared. Rocky was fine, but we built Happy an enclosure after that. It was so funny as we were living on the Prairies in Alberta at the time with about 2 1/2 acres of Prairie land (literally flat and fully grassed), and Ian built this gigantic enclosure for a small dog (probably 1/4 of an acre). Haha. Happy also had a love-hate relationship with that same neighbor's cat called Tibs. Even on a walk, if we mentioned the name, Tibs, he would would stop dawdling and run ahead determined to find Tibs. We liked Tibs and she liked our family, so she would visit frequently, despite the threat of our Happy.

In the last year of Happy's life, he was my little fur ball shadow. He followed me everywhere I went in the house, and only when I would settle somewhere, did he settle down and go to sleep. May God bless him wherever he is now. He did his job well on this earth - our little, furry, red fox - an angel in disguise.

Rest in peace, dearest Happy. Thank you for everything. We love you sooo much and that will never change. You are greatly missed, but you are in our hearts, very close to us. May God bless you wherever your spirit is now.

Happy Eloff (or Langans Brushwood Happy Eloff) (8th September 1995 to just before midday on 25th October 2009)

Happy's Parents: Langans Brushwood Switch and Langans Brushwood Bambi from Beaverlodge, Alberta

Information about the breed, Shiba Inu: Shiba Inu breed info Wikipedia - Shiba Inu

2 comments:

Nancy said...

Aww I love to read about Happy!
I think you should eventually write a Happy memoir, good dog stories are hard to come by.

Oh and another reason I like Happy...his birthday was one day before mine!
:-D

Jennifer said...

Nancy, funny you should say that - I think my husband will do that. He is much better at story-telling. I get right to the punch line far too quickly. :-) Ian loves to elaborate and tell a story.

Your birthday is the 9th September!